Auditing and Enhancement of Personal Computer Security

Recent surveys have demonstrated that Greeek citizens feel insecure when they face the idea of interacting with the Internet. For example, 57% of the Greek citizens of 15 years or older, believe that they are in danger of leakage of their personal information when they use their credit card over the Internet. It is impressive to observe that between those that use the Internet and those who don't, the Internet users are more afraid of using their credit cards for on-line transactions. As a result, the percentage of Greeks who use the Internet for buying goods is the lowest within Europe and reached only a 4%. That is five times smaller than the average percentage of Europe.

Besides the home Internet users, many Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) have begun to use computers connected to the Internet. Recently, through the Go-Online ( initiative, more than 20.000 SMEs acquired a computer and Internet access. But in a relevant questionnaire, 58.4% of these SMEs answered that they worry for a potential fraud, since "the Internet is not safe"

The goal of ESTIA project is to make a forward leap towards making the Greek citizens feeling safe when interacting with the Internet. This will result in a significant increase of the Greek Internet users that do not exceed 20% of the population nowadays. Also it will help the Greek Internet users to gain trust to the Internet and benefit from all the services it has to offer, increasing for example the number of online transactions.

The goal of this project will be achieved through the creation of an automatic service, which will audit and improve the status of personal computers' security. The service will be implemented as a portal which will remotely scan the user's computer for security problems and then provide him with suggestions on how to fix them, helping the user to gain trust towards their computer and the Internet in general. The service will also be available to SMEs that wish to control and improve the security status of their corporate computers. SMEs, because of their size. can't afford to employ specialized IT personnel on a permanent basis, thus they are vulnerable to attacks over the Internet. Such an attack could prove destructive for the company, if for example all the files and history of transactions of the company were destroyed..




The ESTIA Project is funded by the the General Secretariat of Research and Development through PAVET-NE (subcontract from Virtual Trip). Duration: 2005-2008.